Long-Term Health Concerns After Menopause

More women fear breast cancer than fear heart disease or osteoporosis, but the statistics show that this fear may be misplaced:

  • One out of eight women gets breast cancer, and one out of two or three women gets heart disease.
  • Thirty percent of all women die of heart disease (average age 75–80), 3 percent die from complications of osteoporosis (average age 80), and 3 percent die of breast cancer.
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women over 65, but one third of all cardiovascular deaths occur in women less than 65 years old.

Women who have had breast cancer have a greater chance of dying of breast cancer than women who have never had it, but they are at the same risk for heart disease as other women. Death caused by breast cancer occurs over a much greater age range, because women start getting breast cancer at much earlier ages than they do heart disease and osteoporosis: beginning in their 20s and on to over 100.

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